Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Urges Members to Take Covid-19 Vaccine

Port Alberni, BC– Within the last month, Canada has approved the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for Covid-19. These vaccines have both gone through rigorous testing and approval processes,  only being approved by Health Canada once deemed safe and effective. We encourage anyone over the  age of 18, not breastfeeding, and not allergic to any of the ingredients, to take the vaccine when it  becomes available in your community.  

Though the Pfizer vaccine was the first Covid-19 vaccine approved by Canada, it requires ultra-cold storage (-70 Celsius). However, the Moderna vaccine (approved after Pfizer) is much easier to transport  and store, as it requires temperatures that can be reached with a regular freezer. 

The Moderna vaccine will be brought to rural and remote communities for a community approach to  Covid-19 vaccination. We are excited to see rural and remote Indigenous communities being prioritized in the vaccine roll-out but it will take a community approach to ensure the community is safe. That means  ensuring you get your vaccine when made available. First Nations Health Authority and Medical Health  Officers recommend that Indigenous people receive the vaccine when they are brought into your community. 

For those members living away from home, FNHA, First Nations Health Council and First Nations  Health Directors Association will continue to work with regional health authority partners to advance  approaches that include away-from-home members.  

Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is a huge step towards some type of normalcy in our daily lives, but we  must remind each and every one of you to continue to follow the health orders and recommendations as  long as they are in place to mitigate the risk to our valuable members as vaccines do require two doses  within weeks of each other to get the full benefits of the vaccine. 

We understand that there are many questions about the Covid-19 vaccine, please read the link provided by FNHA regarding frequently asked questions associated with the Covid-19 vaccine:  

Also, please feel free to talk to our NTC nurses about any questions you have or ask your family doctor.  

“Covid-19 can be a fatal illness and we have to do everything we can to stop us and our family from  suffering through such a virus,” said NTC President Judith Sayers. “Do what you need to do to learn  about the vaccine and make your decision about whether to take it. This virus spreads quickly and every  person has to do what they can to stop it.”

Vice-president Mariah Charleson adds, “I understand many First Nations people’s reluctance in trusting  the government and the health care system, due to a horrid track record, but taking this vaccine can truly  save lives. If you don’t do it for yourself, please do it for those vulnerable around you, particularly our  precious elders.”